The St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up is scheduled this coming weekend in St. Louis, along with the Baseball Writers’ annual dinner. These events will bring as many members of the 2011 World Champions together in one place as will likely occur again. It now looks as if they may be staying together a day longer than originally expected.
Plans are being made for the 2011 Cardinals to head to Washington, D.C. following the conclusion of the weekend’s festivities one week from today, on Monday, January 16. The winner of the World Series is traditionally invited to the White House to meet The President of the United States. So it will be this year as Barack Obama will reportedly entertain the Cardinals the next day, Tuesday, January 17. (The date should be considered tentative until officially announced by the White House.)
Seven members of the club have already departed as free agents, including superstar Albert Pujols, along with since-retired manager Tony La Russa and three members of the Cardinals coaching staff who were not retained for 2012. La Russa is among those scheduled to return to St. Louis for the weekend.
Following the Cardinals’ exciting World Series victory over the Texas Rangers on October 28, Obama did not immediately make a celebratory phone call to the new champions. La Russa was the one to share that news with the media, a week later, on November 4. Much was made of that perceived snub by some.
The call eventually did come. It was on November 7, 10 days after the conclusion of the Series. At that time, The President extended his invitation to the team to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Though the first-term Chief Executive reportedly did not call the 2009 champion New York Yankees, his call to the previous winner, the 2010 San Francisco Giants, was apparently made in a timely manner.
Former President George W. Bush, once a business partner of Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr., welcomed the 2006 World Champion Cardinals to the White House on January 16, 2007. It is worth noting that was also the Tuesday following Winter Warm-Up.
Obama visited St. Louis on July 14, 2009, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Major League Baseball’s 80th All-Star Game. He wore the jacket of his home-town favorite Chicago White Sox. (In the above photo, The President met Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who 11 months ago, made his own trip to the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.)
Update: Late Monday afternoon, the White House issued their official release. The Cardinals will be honored at 3:05 P.M. ET on Tuesday, January 17. Before the event, the Cardinals will visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to thank wounded service members for their service.
And here is the video of the ceremony, courtesy of The White House.